Radio to the rescue in Roseburg, Oregon Blast! 1959



PSR thanks  our friend Feliks Banel for sharing this incredible story…

Crater left by explosion of truck containing 6.5 tons of dynamite, Roseburg, Oregon, August 7, 1959. ba015174; 57 MB; Gray 16 TIFF.
Crater left by explosion of truck containing 6.5 tons of dynamite, Roseburg, Oregon, August 7, 1959. Ground Zero in “The Blast” was this crater, 20 feet deep and roughly 60 feet across, where the truck full of dynamite was parked. [Larger image: 1200px wide] (Photo: Oregon Historical Society)

By Feliks Banel

Thursday January 21st, 2016


If you love radio as much as I do, please listen to the fabulous Bill Brubaker as he shares this incredible story of how he survived the August 7, 1959 accidental dynamite truck explosion in Roseburg, Oregon–and how he then got the only remaining radio station back on the air to help out with the aftermath. This is when radio does its very best! Bill told the story for my students in the UW Communication Leadership MA program this week; the audio was posted by me for The Northwest Hall of Radio History.

Bill Brubaker

In the latest episode of “Northwest Radio Voices,” Project Ambassador Bill Brubaker describes how he and two Washington State classmates happened to be running a radio station in Roseburg, OR during the summer of 1959. Early on the morning of August 7, 1959, Brubaker and his friends survived a huge accidental dynamite blast that levelled much of downtown Roseburg. Then, the trio acted quickly to get their radio station on the air in support of the town, the population, and the rescue and recovery efforts. It’s an incredible tale, and a priceless example of how radio can unite a community in its darkest hour.



Feliks Banel is a Lecturer at UW Communication Leadership,Historian, Producer and Host at KIRO Radio 97.3 FM and Curator and Creative Director at Northwest Hall of Radio History


Read More about this story HERE


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